With summer just around the corner, it’s time to shed any extra weight you put on this past winter. As we get ourselves into the exercise groove sometimes we find ourselves despairing over the trouble zone areas that seem impossible to tame. You may think to yourself, “how can I get flat abs and get rid of those love handles that stubbornly sprout over pants?” Don’t forget wiggly thighs and batwing triceps, an especially troublesome spot for women.
Total Gym is a great machine for toning these areas and more due to its unique design. The gravity method makes for one of the most efficient exercise methods, as well, which really works for the trouble zones. The folks at Sky Club (located at 750 Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell, NJ) graciously offered one of their members, Melissa Testa, to help demonstrate some Total Gym exercises.
Pesky Flabby Abs
Pullover Crunch on the Total Gym
The pullover crunch is a Pilates-inspired exercise similar to ab preps, which gets to the core of the matter so to speak. The below video demonstrates how curling forward from the abdominals forces the muscles to work and strengthen. Keeping the arms lengthened while engaging in the curl is an added benefit for carving beautiful shoulders! Engaging in 15 to 20 repetitions two to three times per week is an excellent way to gain control over those hard-to-tone abdominals.
Crossover Rotation Exercises on Total Gym
By pulling one of the Total Gym handles over to the opposite side, we’ve enabled a side abdominal or oblique crunch that targets the love handles a common trouble zone for men. Again the machine kicks it up a notch when you take the pullover crunch and turn it into a crossover rotation by bringing one arm and pulley across the body while curling over.
Seated Torso Rotation on the Total Gym
The seated and kneeled torso rotations on the Total Gym are exercises that target the love handles and deltoids and of course, they also hit the abs. In the video below, the students are either kneeling or seated on the glide bar, with both pulleys in both hands. The goal is to bring the pulleys across the body by twisting at the waist, while keeping the lower body below the waist still. The twist works the oblique abdominal muscles while the arm pull motion targets the deltoids.
Kneeling Torso Rotation on Total Gym
Triceps Extension on the Total Gym
The triceps extension is a great exercise that for firming up saggy skin under the arm. As the video indicates, the exercise is performed while kneeling on the glide bar. With a handle in each hand, keep the body still while bending and extending the elbows, focusing on the triceps as they extend and contract. When done consistently, this targeted exercise gets fast results.
Triceps Pressdown on the Total Gym
Another exercise that works the triceps is the tricep press, which Miles and Melissa demonstrate below. For this exercise, the body in supine position should be held still while the lower arms press the pulleys down and up. Focus on pressing down the belly button and keeping the core engaged while the triceps are worked.
Squatting Exercise on Total Gym
For the trouble-zone thighs, Miles and Melissa demonstrate the great exercise of thigh squats that can be done on the Total Gym with a squat bar to target the quads and glutes. Keep your feet planted on the bar while bending and extending at the knees during this exercise. Keep the core engaged and keep the upper body still so all the focus is on the quadriceps during this squatting exercise. A controlled return to a bent knee targets the glutes. The plyometric jumps add intensity to the move.
Hip Abductor Exercise on Total Gym
Another exercise for the thighs and hips is the hip abduction on the Total Gym machine. For this exercise, start in a seated position and place each leg inside one of the cables. Sit up tall out of the waist and focus on keeping the core engaged. Then open and close your legs with the outward action targeting the outer thighs and hips.
Don’t let those trouble zones ruin your workout goal. Consistency and focus while engaging in these exercises will correct those issues and get you ready for what will hopefully be a fabulous summer!